Fresh off a Davis Cup win, Sumit Nagal hopes to break into the top-100 next year, but 2019 will perhaps forever be memorable-this was the year he took a set off Roger Federer in the US Open.
Sumit Nagal (Photo: John G. Mabanglo/ EPA)
Q. Where were you when you heard you were playing Roger Federer in the first round of the US Open? And what do you remember most from that match?
I was getting a massage and I got a text from my fitness trainer Milos (Galecic). I couldn’t quite believe it and was really happy. What I remember is getting a feel of the atmosphere at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, which is a very different setting when compared to the courts that I usually play on.
Q. India has never lost to Pakistan in the Davis Cup. But then again, you had never won a Davis Cup tie before this. How much pressure was on you before the two matches last month?
I think the only pressure I had was during the first game and once I won that, I felt pretty good and didn’t think too much. I was just cruising, playing well and there were some solid points between us. After that, I don’t think there was much pressure.
Q. After all that you’ve gone through, truth is that it’s been just four years that you’ve been on the pro circuit. How have the ups and downs shaped the person that you are?
It’s a part of life. You usually walk alone because tennis is a lonely sport. Even though you have a team, once you go out on the court, it’s all you. You alone are responsible for what happens out there. I think it’s a part of life and it’s better if you learn this at an early age.
Q. Considering you do spend some time at your training base in Germany these days, what do you like about the country?
I’ve taken a liking to schnitzel. It’s this breaded chicken with some mushroom sauce. I really enjoy it!
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